President Barack Obama’s campaign manager, Jim Messina, emailed supporters shortly before three this morning asking for volunteers and responding to Mitt Romney’s extremely narrow victory in the Iowa Caucus. Mr. Messina mocked Mr. Romney for spending “seven years” campaigning in Iowa, described the Republican party as leaderless and predicted the eventual nominee would be someone who has “embraced” the Tea Party. “GOP voters there couldn’t decisively get behind anyone,” Mr. Messina wrote.
Mr. Messina called the vote a “clear victory” for the “extremist Tea party agenda:”
“No matter who the Republicans nominate, we’ll be running against someone who has embraced that agenda in order to win — vowing to let Wall Street write its own rules, end Medicare as we know it, roll back gay rights, leave the troops in Iraq indefinitely, restrict a woman’s right to choose, and gut Social Security to pay for more tax cuts for millionaires and corporations.”
Going forward, Mr. Messina forecast the Republicans will go on a negative ad buying binge fueled by “unprecedented spending from outside groups funded by corporations and anonymous donors.”
“These groups will turn their fire even more directly on us in the weeks ahead to prove that their candidate is the most anti-Obama,” Mr. Messina wrote. “This race is officially on — and if we want to win, the only way is to out-organize them on the ground.”
Though Mr. Messina is confident the Obama campaign will be “prepared” if Mr. Romney wins the nomination, he isn’t sure whether the former Massachusetts governor has what it takes.
“Many observers still think Mitt Romney will be the Republican nominee,” Mr. Messina wrote. “But it’s curious that no one can really explain how, when or why the 70-plus percent of Republicans saying in polls and in Iowa that Mitt Romney’s not their candidate will suddenly come around.”
Mr. Messina is also sure whoever emerges victorious in the Republican race will have a dangerous far right platform.
“So the path ahead for Romney — or whichever of the Republican candidates is going to emerge from this process — is sadly and starkly very clear: to run even further to the extreme right, and make even more dangerous promises that threaten not only the progress we’ve made but the fundamental fabric of American society,” Mr. Messina wrote.
Despite his doubts about Mr. Romney, Mr, Messina believes “candidates who take these extreme positions can, in the right circumstances, win not only a primary but also a general election in just about any state.”
The Obama campaign email then took a dramatic turn.
“Watching the circus on TV, it’s tempting to think it’s almost funny — but this is not a joke. We’ve got to be ready. What you decide to do next will determine which kind of politics wins this election,” Mr. Messina wrote.
Mr. Messina closed his email on an informal note, signing off as simply “Messina.”